« AnteriorContinuar »
COLOSSUS OF RHODES.
IDOLATRY is the foulest reproach of the understanding of man. Yet this species of insult to the only living and true God, may boast of some of the most splendid monuments of human ingenuity and national riches. Such is the depraved state of the heart of man, that under the influence of ignorance and superstition, temples and statues the most costly and magnificent have been erected in honour of those who were gods of inere human creation.
COLOSSUS of Rhodes was one of the most remarkable of these: it was a prodigious image of brass, designed to represent APOLLO. This immense statue was the work of Chares, an artist of extraordinary skill, and twelve years were employed in its construction. It cost 300 talents: which are reckoned at 3221. 18s. 4d. each, amounting to 96,876. Colossus was in height seventy cubits; which, reckoning at twenty-two inches, would make one hundred and twenty-three feet. Its proportions are said to have been uniform; and that scarcely any man could grasp its thumb with his arms.
Colossus was erected about 300 years before the Christian era, at the entrance of the harbour at Rhodes, stretching across the channel, so that between its legs VOL. I.
ships could pass in full sail; and for the direction of vessels into the harbour by night, a light-house was held in the right hand of the statue! It rested its feet upon two triangular bases; supported by sixty pillars of marble. A winding staircase led to the top, from which the shores of Syria could easily be discerned; and by the help of glasses, which hung on the neck of the image, ships could be seen sailing on the coast of Egypt. After it had stood about seventy-two years, it was thrown down, and partly demolished, by an earthquake, B. C. 228 years.
Immense contributions of timber, corn, and money, were made by the neighbouring princes and states, for the relief of the Rhodians, especially by Ptolemy, king of Egypt, who accompanied his other gifts with three thousand talents! sent for the purpose of restoring the honours of Colossus. But the leading individuals of the city, having laid hold on the money, shared it among themselves, pretending that the oracle of Del phos had forbidden the reconstruction of the statue.
Colossus, therefore, lay neglected on the ground for the space of eight hundred and seventy-seven years: but A. D. 653, Moawias, the sixth Emperor of the Saracens, made himself master of Rhodes, and sold this statue to a Jew merchant of Edessa. It was broken to pieces 2 B.
and conveyed by sea to Alexandria, where the brass of it loaded nine hundred camels. Gibbon supposes, that this enormous quantity of metal, estimated worth 36,000l. of English money, must include the “hundred colossal figures, and the three thousand statues, which adorned the prosperity of the city of the Sun."
28. IRENEUS is believed to have been a native of Asia Minor, born about A. D. 120. He had attended the ministry of the venerable Polycarp at Smyrna, whence he was sent into France by that zealous minister, as a person well qualified to carry forward the work of evangelizing the Gauls. He learned their language, and became assistant to the aged bishop Pothinus, in Lyons.
Irenæus was a sincere lover of the souls of men, in labouring to promote whose interest, he thought no difficulties or dangers too great. Mr. Milner observes of Irenæus, "Nor is it a small instance of the humility and charity of this great man, accurately versed as he was in Grecian literature, that he took pains to learn the barbarous dialect of Gaul, conformed himself to the rustic manners of an illiterate people, and renounced the politeness and elegant traits of his own country, for the love of souls. Rare fruit of Christian charity!"
Before the middle of the second century, Christianity had been adulterated with many incorporations from the Jewish ceremonies and from the pagan philosophy, the consequences of which were, the prevalence of numerous heresies. Against these, Irenæus was exceedingly zealous, and for the purpose of extirpating them, he wrote a work in five books in Greek, of which there still exists a Latin translation.
At the period of the persecution in France, A. D. 177, in which Pothinus suffered martyrdom, Irenæus went to Rome, where he disputed with the heretic Valentinus, and his two colleagues Florinus and Blastus. On his return to Lyons, A. D. 179, he was chosen bishop of the Christians, who had been bereaved of their pastor Pothinus, and he continued faithfully devoted to his duties many years. We cannot ascertain correctly the date of the martyrdom of Irenæus: some suppose it happened A. D. 202, in the tenth year of the reign of Lucius Septimus Severus, the Roman emperor, who in that year published his dreadful edict against the Christians; or A. D. 208, when Severus made his expedition into Britain, and in his way visited Lyons.
Ancient Martyrologies inform us, "that Irenæus having been prepared by several torments, was at length put to death, and together with him almost all the Christians of that vast populous city, whose numbers could not be reckoned up, so that the streets of the city flowed with the blood of Christians."
Florinus attended the ministry of Polycarp when Irenæus resided at Smyrna; but he had departed from the true faith; to whom, in a letter, referring to the things they had heard from that devoted bishop, he says, "These things, through the mercy of God, I heard with seriousness: I wrote them not on paper, but on my heart, and ever since, through the grace of God, I have had a genuine remembrance of them, and can witness before God, that if that blessed apostolic presbyter had heard some of the doctrines which are now maintained, he would have cried out, and stopped his ears, and in his usual manner have said, O good God! to what times hast thou reserved me!"
Mr. Milner, in his "Church History," observes con
cerning Irenæus, "He doubtless agrees with all the primitive Christians in the doctrine of the Trinity; he makes use of the forty-fifth Psalm particularly to prove the Deity of Christ. He is no less clear and sound in his views of the Incarnation: and in general, notwithstanding some philosophical adulterations, he certainly maintained all the essentials of the gospel."
ON CLOSING THE EARLY LECTURE,
DELIVERED ON THE SABBATH MORNINGS DURING THE
But dark October frowns! and now no more
Ye servants of the Lord-who have so oft
Blest mornings, ye have pass'd! and who shall see
* Rev. R. C. Dillon, and Rev. J. F. Denham.
BY BISHOP KENN.
From glorious God an angel sent,
Yet every drop Omniscience knows;
THE BIRMINGHAM APPRENTICE.
Condition of Apprentices in Birmingham.
WILLIAM whose narrative we are confident will not fail to interest many of our readers, was an apprentice in the populous and flourishing town of BIRMINGHAM. It will, therefore, be proper, before we enter directly upon the memoir, to make a few general observations upon the Condition of Apprentices in Birmingham.
Of this distinguished place, half a century ago, a late eminent statesman (Mr. Burke) justly said, “Birmingham is the Toyshop of Europe." Its manufactories are numerous and extensive, and its productions are exceedingly various; so that they are known and celebrated throughout the savage, as well as the civilized parts of the world. Almost every kind of article fashioned by the dexterous hand of man, whether for ornament or utility, for the murderous art of war, or for the benevolent occupations of peace, is made by its skilful workmen. An intelligent noble visitor once said of it, "Whatever can be needed, from a needle to an anchor, may be obtained from the ingenious artisans of Birmingham."
About a century and a half ago, Birmingham was a small market town, with about five thousand inhabitants now it contains that number of apprentices, in a population of above one hundred and forty-five thousand. Many of these youths, while advancing in the knowledge of the various useful arts, and carrying them to a height of improvement astonishing even to themselves, are lamentably negligent in relation to those things which belong to their everlasting peace. They perform their daily task of work, and nothing more is regarded: numbers of their masters are igno rant of the great salvation of Jesus Christ; nor are their parents, at least in many instances, any better acquainted with the gospel of his grace. Thus numbers of ignorant youth become an easy prey to the vulgar and immoral apostles of Infidelity.
There are, however, in Birmingham, not a few, whose parents fear God, and whose pious wisdom has been displayed in choosing for their sons, masters, who to the praise of the glory of divine grace, are to be found, decided believers in the gospel of Christ, and consistent, exemplary servants of the Most High God.
That this numerous class of youths, the Birmingham Apprentices, should receive special and public attention from the ministers of the gospel, cannot admit of the smallest doubt. It is of incalculable importance to themselves, in all their diversified relations in life, and of immense importance to the community in general. Nor have their interests been altogether lost sight of by the ministers of Christ, as their benevolent, evangelical, and beneficial labours, both from the pulpit and the press, have happily proved. The Rev. E. Burn, M. A, the Rev. J. A. James, the Rev. T. East, and the Rev.
Morgan, deserve honourable mention in this particular respect; and these reverend gentlemen are entitled to the thanks of their country, as among its most valuable patriots and friends.
The several large and well-conducted Sunday schools in Birmingham have been inestimably beneficial to the Apprentices, in restraining their wandering steps, in directing their doubtful ways, and in storing their susceptible minds with the blessed words of everlasting life, the doctrines of saving truth; and God has eminently crowned their operations, in numerous instances, for the glory of his holy name.
Every intelligent and zealous minister of the gospel, in our populous districts, has observed, that Sunday schools have been the most valuable and flourishing nurseries for the effectual replenishing of the churches
of Christ; to which great numbers of the young of both sexes have been transferred, as "trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Agreeably to the prophet's elegant imagery, they have been transplanted as trees of righteousness," they have been beautiful as "the fir tree and the myrtle tree" they have been raised up "to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Not a few of the most active, devoted, pious, and wellqualified teachers in the Sunday schools of that great town, have been Birmingham Apprentices. And some of those who are eminently endowed and zealously successful, as ministers of the gospel in their native land, or ambassadors of Christ among the heathen, in distant nations, once occupied that noble though humble station, in which they were "teachers of babes" in Sunday schools.
The writer of this memoir has known a goodly company of that class, whose names will live in the most truly honourable records of this world; and others, "who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seeking glory, and honour, and immortality" by faith in Jesus Christ, have filled the various stations of life in which they have been placed by an all-wise Providence, with the highest credit to themselves, "adorning the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things," rising to distinguished influence and usefulness among their fellow townsmen, being lasting blessings to the world, as well as shining and valuable ornaments to the militant church of God. (To be continued.)
"I send you a 107. post bill, and will thank you to lay it on the altar of my God. He has been graciously pleased to add to my income by the lamented death of a beloved parent, who once said to me, I have done more for God this year, than ever I did in any one year before and He has done more for me this year, than ever He did in any one year before, and I desire to offer thereof to Him.' Blessed be his name! He has given me more than I either desire or deserve. An evil heart of unbelief whispers, You have a family of nine children, and you should provide for them, and leave others, more able, to give to the cause of Missions:-but faith answers, True, I have a large family, and I have had a larger; yet, though I have known difficulties, I have been enabled to provide for them, and I will try to trust a faithful God." O that we did more seriously consider, 'Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price!' What is bought? Body, soul, spirit, gold, silver, houses, lands. Who bought these? Jesus Christ. At what price? His own most precious blood. How is ithow is it, that we do not consider this? If professing Christians would consider this, we should hear no more of a vast decrease in your income. Men can find money to expend upon themselves; but they are backward in offering unto God, although the gold and the silver are His. Is not this robbing God?”
"God hears the heart, though without words; but He never hears words without the heart."-Bp. Hopkins.
The Desig of the Translation of Enoch. WE have beheld the humiliating sentence of mortality, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," remitted in favour of pious Enoch. His wondrous translation from earth to heaven, could not have been useless, even in relation to others: it must have been designed to answer some important ends, altogether worthy of the Almighty Author of so glorious a privilege. The translation of Enoch was designed to strengthen the minds of the godly in their belief of a future life, to be enjoyed in a world of eternal felicity. A superior life in heaven seems evidently to have been promised to Adam while in innocency, as the reward of his continuance in perfect obedience: and though he forfeited it by his transgression, it was renewed with the promise of a Saviour.
Abel served God in the lively hope of glory, and soon entered into its blissful enjoyment. But ungodliness and infidelity increasing, multitudes denied the existence of a future, superior life. This denial was necessary for them, to agree with their general principles of irreligion and sin. Their consenting to the doctrine of a future state, would have been admitting the certainty of their own condemnation and punishment; which must have been most terrific to the minds of wicked men.
The godly, being persecuted and oppressed by the blasphemers, would naturally be discouraged; and without some signal display of sovereign goodness, their dejected spirits would have been overwhelmed in despondency and while they saw that the servants of God, as well as the wicked, became enfeebled by disease and died, and their bodies were reduced to dust, it was not easy for them to believe confidently in a world of felicity and glory. But the state of happiness to which the emancipated spirit of Abel was exalted, was confirmed by the visible translation of Enoch. That man of God had long laboured to establish the discouraged minds of his pious friends in their belief and hope of eternal bliss. He had probably declared to them the Divine promise of his own translation, and appealed to that niraculous event as intended for a confirmation of his inspiring doctrine. The minds of the sincere worshippers of God would, therefore, be greatly invigorated, by the miraculous and visible exaltation of the holy prophet.
The translation of Enoch was designed to teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. That the bodies of the righteous should not for ever perish in the dust, was the gracious determination of Almighty God but whether this was believed equally with the doctrine of a future life, does not appear. The body of Abel had lain in the silent tomb for nearly eight hundred years, and the mortal part of Adam had been reduced to the earth for fifty-seven years: but when the body of Enoch was glorified, it would either confirm the belief of the resurrection already known, or lead to many delightful contemplations respecting a state, in which the bodies of the saints would be honoured as well as their souls. Divine condescension would again be manifested in affording information on that wondrous condition, in which "mortality should be swallowed up of life."
"Now that the dead are raised," said our blessed Lord to the infidel Sadducees, "even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the LORD, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Luke xx, 3. From this testimony of Christ we learn, that the resurrection of the dead was a doctrine re
ceived and held by the pious patriarchs; and Job, in the age before Moses, professed his confident belief in it, as a source of the most solid comfort. The translation of Enoch would have a powerful influence in confirming and establishing the minds of believers in the resurrection; they would become far more zealous in impressing it upon their children, and the pious youth would be encouraged to maintain with increasing boldness the inspiring profession of their fathers.
The translation of Enoch was designed to afford instruction to the church in all succeeding ages. It has been a perpetual memorial to all generations, that the faith of God's elect is inseparably connected with the hope of future happiness, and a glorious resurrection. It is highly instructive and consoling to us to remark, that in each of the three great periods of the revelation of divine mercy, God has been pleased to encourage the faith of his people, by giving them an impressive figure of the resurrection: the translation of Enoch under the patriarchal economy,-that of Elijah under the Levitical dispensation,- and at length, the triumph of the Lord Christ himself, "who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Tim. i, 10.
"It must have been an encouraging sight to the antediluvian saints, to see a guilty son of Adam withdrawn from among them, and lodged, not in a tomb, but in the bosom of God. It was a still more striking illustration of immortality, to behold the heavens opened, and divine messengers in flaming fire conducting a prophet into mansions of glory. But the grandest display of this doctrine is presented before our eye in the case of the Author and Finisher of faith, who, when he burst the bars of the grave, and ascended up on high, brought life and immortality to light, opening the gates of righteousness, that the nations of those who are saved may enter in. Enoch, Elijah, and Christ, in one view, may be compared with each other; but in all things, to the latter belongs the pre-eminence. Enoch and Elijah ascended as solitary individuals, and their ascension, except as an example, benefited only themselves. Christ ascended as the first-fruits of thei that sleep,' and now that he is lifted up' he is drawing together his elect unto him, whom at last he will present before the presence of the Divine glory with exceeding joy."
May our young readers humbly adore the Divine goodness, in raising up Enoch, Elijah, and our Lord Jesus Christ; and confidently believe these gracious assurances that God will "quicken their mortal bodies by his Spirit dwelling in them." Let these wondrous facts inspire them with a resolution to receive the gospel of God as the warrant of their faith and the guide of their life, that having walked with God on earth, they may be received to the glorious habitations of heaven. "Like precious faith" with the patriarchs in the word of God, will purify their hearts, and secure the Divine guidance through all the snares and dangers of this sinful world; and having, as the friends of Christ, walked with God on earth, he will bring them to dwell with Enoch and Elijah, with the patriarchs and prophets, with apostles and martyrs, and with all the righteous in every age in the kingdom of his glory. There shall death and sorrow be for ever unknown; but they "shall eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God,” and drink eternally "of the river of his pleasures."
PAULINUS, when he was told that the Goths had sacked Nola, and plundered him of all he had, said, lifting up his eyes to heaven, "Lord thou knowest where 7 have laid up my treasure."- Cripplegate Lectures.
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
Dear Madam, THE CREATOR has implanted several propensities in human nature, which are called good or evil as they are well or ill directed. He has, for instance, interwoven with our nature the desire of happiness. Abstractedly it is good; but when it operates to the disregard of the interests and welfare of others, it becomes greediness or selfishness. This is an evil to be avoided. Yet, in my apprehension, the task requires to be guided by a very clear understanding of the due limits of the habit you would establish.
Some parents and writers have advised, that in order to avoid the habit of selfishness, a child should on every occasion be taught to sacrifice his own interest to that of other children. I have known instances in which such lessons have been incessantly inculcated, and I have witnessed the result. The child has given away his most admired playthings, or conceded his rightful possessions of every sort to his companions. He has evinced a morbid dislike to the possession of any thing. At school this principle has operated in the following manner: he has been willing to talk or to be idle with any one who wished it; and thus to involve himself in the displeasure others merited for their disorderly or indolent habits. He has been willing to write the tasks of any other boy instead of his own, to go with them upon any excursion they required, and thus to merge his own convenience in theirs. I am afraid, that upon the principle that the character of the man is but an expansion of that of the boy, that the habit would continue in after-life; accordingly, such children will generally be the dupes of others. By ignorant people, who cannot discern the extravagance of the principle which has been inculcated into their minds, they have been deemed unfortunate, and even indolent; and in consequence of the unhappy adventures to which their principle exposed them, they may have been misrepresented and maligned.
Thus the heart unfit with the world to cope
As such children grow up, they universally discover that no one but themselves is possessed of these romantic ideas; that all around them are taking care of themselves; that their own habits exposed them to the thoughtless rapacity of others, for which they often receive neither a return in kind nor a return in thanks. The mind of such individuals soon poignantly feels disgust with human nature, because it is not conformed to those rules which he had been taught to consider as the regulations of proper conduct, and retires from the world repining and misanthropical. Add to these evils, that such individuals are generally behind in the race of advantage of every kind, and are often to be numbered among the unfortunate distressed and even dissipated members of society. Yet in all this the child and the man was simply what it had been made by education; and indeed what else can any human being be? I speak of human nature, and of the influence of earthly circumstances. All these evils show that the principle was wrong. In order to explain myself more fully I ob
2dly. I deduce the following rules and limitations, which appear to me needful to be kept in view. That a child should be taught the right of property in every thing he possesses, and taught to estimate its value. That very early the conviction should be established in his mind, that he has no right to any thing which he does not acquire by personal exertion, but that he has the highest possible right to enjoy every advantage arising from the exercise of his own prudence or industry. Along with these feelings, inspire a most sacred regard to the rights of his brothers and sisters, and his companions, and all mankind.
A plate of fruit, for an instance, is set before your little family and their juvenile friends. Teach your child, that in all such cases he has no right to choose out designedly the finest and the best. At the same time do not teach him that it would be the height of virtue to choose out studiously the worst of all. Let the direction rather be that he should never think which is best or worst, but take them as a matter of course, and be contented. All that propriety demands from any child, or from any man, in his intercourse with society is, such a regard to the rights of others, as may prevent an aggrandizement of himself at a conscious and designed disadvantage or injustice to others. He ought to give every one the opportunity of enjoying, but he himself also ought to enjoy-not to infringe upon the rights of others, and not to concede his own. Were this rule generally adopted (and the value of every rule is to be estimated by its general, rather than by its particular consequences), we should see every member of society exerting himself, without a wish to depend upon the exertions of others. Every mutual right would be respected, and consequently the happiness which results from the preservation of mutual rights would be secured. All this, you are aware, is consistent with kindheartedness it is perhaps the most genuine species of it; for he wishes and does best for mankind, whose conduct is calculated, not so much by extraordinary generosity to exempt another from the necessity of honourable industry, but which gives opportunity and excitement to their own personal efforts on their own behalf. Kindness, generosity, good-nature, are terms which ought never to be applied, except in reference to favours showed to those who are honourably yet inefficiently using their own exertions. Under the influence of these feelings, I believe a child will be himself industrious, sincere, and happy; whereas blind indiscriminate profusion, or concession of just rights, neither do good to himself nor to others. Like the romantic of all kinds, it leads to disadvantage.
I remain, dear Madam, yours, &c. CLERICUS.
THIS passion is of all others the most baneful to the peace of its possessor, and to society at large. Revenge, though the most sanguinary, may be satiated, and hatred, the most virulent, may be appeased; but the lust of avarice can never be glutted, or the hand of the miser unloose his grasp, but with death. A miser is callous to every humane feeling, his heart is closed to the cries of distress, and the dictates of humanity and the pleadings of nature have alike no influence with him. Intent solely on the gratification of this fatal passion, his heart is hardened to the execution of any villany, and rendered capable of any baseness. A curse to himself and the detestation of his fellow-creatures, he passes his life in misery; and his death, instead of being a loss to society, is accounted a blessing; while his funeral draws forth the exultations of the populace, in the place of being honoured with the silent trickling tear of sorrow and affection.